BodyPump 57 Review
It's been a long five and a half months since the last BodyPump release graced the confines of our lonely mailbox. Was it worth the wait? Let's have a look:
Warm Up - Tina Cousin's energetic "Wonderful Life" was one of the most memorable tunes on release 56, so it's no surprise to hear her kick off 57 with "Come To Me". Feature: The squats lead-in stops the action mid-stroke while the class resets their stance. Brilliant.

Squats - If you think there isn't much to squats choreography, you'd better think again - this track #2 introduces a 2-1-1 combo move that will no doubt become a staple in future releases. Back again is the super slow "down and hold" to maximize the benefit of this thigh buster from Infernal.

Chest - Poke around on the 'net a bit and you'll find much ado about Garbage's campy "Push It" - heck, it's even got its own fan site. We doubt you'll be listening too closely though: it's bottoms-up on this one, folks - the whole way.

Back & Hamstrings - Mike intros this track with a warning, but we beg to differ - with an unprecedented three breaks, this might just be your chance to up the weights a bit. We love the grip changes for recruiting different muscles.

Triceps - When your triceps track leads off with skull crushers, you know it's gonna be all business. Tricep push-ups top off what's sure to be a favorite for those looking for some ROI.

Biceps - If you've been following this release for the last couple months, you already know one of the most anticipated tracks is this chart buster from Black Eyed Peas. Just make sure that excitement doesn't intoxicate your weight selection - with round after round of bicep-loading phases punctuated by 3/4 range singles, your arms will thank you twice for leaving that extra plate on the floor!

Lunges - Ever have trouble picking up the rhythm of a track? Not this time - Paris Avenue drives it home with a powerful backbeat for a routine featuring brand new Double Pulse Dynamic Lunges for dessert. It's one of the few times we actually wished for a longer lunge track!

Shoulders - BodyPump enthusiasts know the bigger the sound, the tougher the workout - and 57's track #8 brings home the goods. As an intense round of floor work gives way to front raises and upright rows, you'll be looking for the finish line as the final round of twelve overhead singles hit home!

Abs - If you like a little torque in your ab workout, you'll love these twisting bicycle crunches with leg extensions. Keep a plate handy if you'd like a little more heat from the crunch combos in this slow cooker from Pussycat Dolls.

Cool Down Stretch - Whether or not you speak Italian, you'll know exactly where your at with this remake of a Toni Braxton hit from the 90's.
If you're an instructor, you've probably heard this is Mike McSweeney's final release as BodyPump program director. So, is Mike going out with a bang? Here's what we think:
Music - Maybe it's just us, but by the middle of the fourth track we could swear it we'd heard the same lead vocalist singing the same five notes for the last twenty minutes. Maybe that's why "Take Your Mama" comes off as such a welcome relief for the triceps track. In fact, from that point on it's like we're hearing a whole new release: Black Eyed Peas, Paris Avenue, and N.E.R.D. ignite a playlist that was starting to wear like a worn-out pair of shoes. So we have to give the BodyPump 57 playlist an C+... not because the first four songs are bad - they just sound too much alike.

Workout Routine - Two years ago we thought the BodyPump workout was the absolute pinnacle of strength training in a group fitness format. If you run 57's routine against, say, something in the 40's, you'll see just how much this series has evolved. Everything from the squat reset in the warm-up to the Double Pulse Dynamic Lunges shows that this program continues to innovate in ways that keep the workouts fresh and the classes full. So, as with 56, we'll tag the workout routine with a solid B simply because we know the next workout will raise the bar even further!

Instructor Video - As we mentioned earlier, this may be the last we'll see of the Pumpfrog videos for awhile. So it was absolutely fabulous to have him grace center stage throughout the master class, along with International Trainer Susan Tolj and Sydney's own Alani Mala. When Steve Renata introduced Susan as "the new face of BodyPump" at the Baltimore Quarterly earlier this month, I asked her if that meant she was taking over the program. "No," she laughed, "I wouldn't want all that responsibility!" Maybe not, but having her onstage will sure help relieve the pain of losing such a dominant figure in the BodyPump culture. Anyhow, whether or not the trainers in this video were aware of Mike's impending departure, their enthusiasm and routine execution are top-notch. The education section of the DVD - sometimes ignored by instructors who (to their detriment) just want to "get the next release launched" - is especially well done this time around. Gone are the lengthy monologues, replaced now with corporate messages from Phillip Mills and an exceptional set of technique and coaching tips from Alani Mala & Susan Tolj. So we give the instructor video an A, especially for LMI's time and thought investment in the educational materials.
Well, there it is. Agree or disagree? Let us know - click the Comments link below and have your say!
12 Comment(s):
On 23 March, 2006, Blogger pipera said...

I like this release I think because this is Michaels last one on DVD so I will treasure it.

It is a wonderful reflection of Michaels legacy of Bodypump.

I kind of don't agree with the the same vocalist singing the same song. The singing styles of each artist from track 1 - 4 is different to me. Maybe its because I am familiar with the artists and have their CD's as well.

Cascada I love her song and it is one of the best track 4's I can remember in awhile.

Track 5 is a party track and is a highlight of the release.

Track 6 there are some pro's and con's with this track, they get it they don't (the new ROM) in the track. I personally like the slow loading tracks like Ice Baby Ice Bodypump 40. Form correction can be done in that track.

Track 7 is a loading on track you can use tons more weight for this track.The ending is awesome.

Track 8 I have been waiting since 2003 for that track in Bodypump and it does not disapoint.

Track 9 is a tough abs track and one of the best ever. Bicycle Cruches are a tough abs workout.

Track 10 I love this track and I am a big fan of the group featured. They rock.

Music wise I love this release but nothing to me beats Bodypump 55.

Workout Routine is one of Michaels best.

Love your insight into each release.

It was a great read.

On 23 March, 2006, Blogger Craig Warman said...

Thank you very much for the feedback on our post! We figured the commentary on tracks 1-4 would be a bit controversial. And yes, 55 is really hard to beat. Personally I like 56's playlist the best amongst the more recent releases, but 55 eventually grew on me as well.

I was just thinking about how long these reviews take to research and write - this one consumed well over five hours! So it's really great to have your feedback on it. Thank you!

On 23 March, 2006, Blogger pipera said...

Hi Craig,

Thanks, you would have loved Toni Braxton's Unbreak my heart from Pump 24 :)tons of side abs work and prone work :) Pump 24 is an aweesome Pump from Mike :)In the 20's series Pump 24 is one of my favs :)

Roberta Flack was awesome as a track to as well :)

On the cover of the CD a participant is doing chest press with their legs crossed, and they have the old Pump gear on and using the old steps.

Glad it was you doing the review and spending 5 hrs doing it :P

On 10 April, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Guys. After the great warmup and squat track the muscical energy just seemed to disappear. To many breaks in the back track. Loved tri-ceps! Biceps is the worst as of late. Member were left unenthused. I think its the worst of the 50's.

Rick CT

On 11 April, 2006, Blogger Niki said...

We have just introduced 57, so probably too soon to comment on what they think, but overall, I like it. I agree that the first three tracks sound similar and in fact, when we launched, someone turned the squat song on for chest and it took a few seconds to realize it wasn't the right song!! I like the workout in the chest track.....especially at the end when you think you are about to hit the end and you slow things down before finishing with a blast! I don't think the squat track is all that challenging, so I am recommending members to up their weights a bit....also to do the same in the back track since there are so many opportunities to recover. I think the tricep song is FUN! The lyrics crack me up! I also like the bicep's fast and I personally think there have been faster tempo songs in past tracks where we should also have done partial range singles to keep from breaking full range form.
I love the pulses in the lunge....can we offer that as an option in the future for people who want that extra pinch? I'd like to!
The shoulder track ROCKS! and it's challenging!!! It's the first time EVER that I have wondered if I would make it through all the side lats with the medium plate!!
I like the workout in the abs.....I feel the pain in the workout every time! Cool down is beautiful.........

Overall I like 57, but I think 56 was better musically.
I am definitely not on the same page with most of you on 55 though......outside chest, triceps (dips) and shoulders, I did not like that release and the rest of those tracks will NOT play in my class unless someone requests them. I will always do requests if they ask, even if I don't like them, because I feel like it's THEIR workout, but I won't bring most of 55 out on my own. JMO........


On 12 April, 2006, Blogger Craig Warman said...

Niki - What a great review! Thank you for sharing it with us!

On 13 April, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not an instructor but just a student who has done the new release twice now (so now I'm an expert, right?!)...was just searching around to see what people thought of it.

Funny you mention the music sounding similar - the first day I was thinking hm, all the songs sound alike...until "Take Your Mama" and then things went in a different direction and I really love it from that point on. Not too impressed with the chest song, it didn't really push me to challenge myself with the music alone. Maybe I will like it more after doing it a few more times.

I like the squats 2-1-1 sequence 10x better after doing it the second time...I love the lunge track and the double pulses...much better than doing those really quick lunges at the end of so many tracks!

I almost started laughing when I recognized the Cascada song...because I heard it on the radio a month or two ago and thought "Wow, this is totally going to be the next back track." I even went so far as to change the station when it came on b/c it made me feel guilty when I was missing a few classes. It's definitely perfect for the clean and press.

The first class we had the instructor did a better job of guiding the class to the weird tempo of the biceps song...but I like it a lot.

Loved the shoulders and the abs!

Anyway, I feel like it was pretty well recieved in our class and the only complaint I have so far is the chest track and that the first few songs do sound pretty similar.

Thanks for your blog, fun read!

On 16 April, 2006, Anonymous annelies said...

hi, my name is annelies i am a dutch bp instuctor since it started in the netherlands. i always am very enthusiastic about pump, this release however is flat in music and choreography. for a longer period already i think there is no or not much variation in the #7+8 track,why the dynamic lunges and where are the arnolds, rear delts, forward raises etc.. already after 2 weeks bp57 my participants asked for other music/choreography for the #3,5,6,7 and 8, so i turned to the oldies like bp 32,33,42 and 43.
now everybody is pumping again. i am aware that it is a difficult job finding the right music and creating a choreography but i hope mike and the new head choreography will look for more variation and contrast in both music and tecniques. i look forward to your reactions, kia ora annelies

On 20 April, 2006, Anonymous spaceman said...

The squats in 57 are a welcome relief after 56, but it will all make sense when you see what they have done with that track in 58.

I disagree about upping weights in the back track. If you are already on the edge for weight selection in this track, you are better off to use this release to tweak form and, especially, to go for a more explosive clean and press. As a humble punter I really love this track; the first time it played I couldn't wipe the smile from my face. So I was a bit disappointed that it didn't get more play. Too many instructors don't realise that not every track in every class has to be right on the bleeding edge for difficulty.

Musically, I actually enjoyed tracks 1,3,4 the best. They are perky, but propulsive enough to mean business. The lunge and shoulder songs annoy me, but they are good workouts nonetheless. And I do wish they would do away with the melodramatic cooldowns, and go for a more acoustic sound instead.

I've now had two goes at 58 as well. The workout is very fresh, so it's quite odd that some of the music is a bit on the safe side. I'm thinking chest and shoulder tracks in particular here.

On 20 April, 2006, Blogger Craig Warman said...

Spaceman - I'd like to quote you on a 58 post that I'm preparing - can you send us your email address? Use this link, if you would. Thanks!

On 27 May, 2006, Anonymous Jill said...

Hi Jill here from UK, I have just started going to BP classes at our Local Gym Spring Health and have to say I love it, our instructor CLare makes it so enjoyable with her enthiusiasm, and singing along to the tracks, its the best workout I have every done, I have been trying to find a list of the songs they use in the right order so I can practice at home but mo luck so far, I guess I will just about get 57 right then they weill bring in 58, I just hope the music is as much fun.

On 10 August, 2006, Anonymous Bonnie Cather said...

I loved the music in 57 with the exception of the lunges track. I'm going to miss Mike McSweeney. I just trained May 5-7 and recently sent in my assessment video. 57 is the only release I was able to see Mike in action and the man's charisma is undeniable. I'd like to incorporate former release tracks into future releases. Would there be a way to secure a dvd and cd of former releases in order for me to do this? A side benefit for this would be Mike would be featured in these dvd's. Any suggestions? Thanks.



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